01st Nov2007

2007 In Music

by Will

“You may look all nice, and sing all nice, but you are not nice.”

So, my good friend, Marcus, went and stole my idea for a post. You see, I’ve had a music post in me for the past couple of days, but I just needed a chance to sit down and hammer it out. He, on the other hand, snatched the concept right out my brain for his myspace blog. Whatever. A myspace blog is a step up from a livejournal…

Anyway, he’s the only one who’ll probably read this, so it’ll really just keep me from having to pick up a phone and call him. God bless technology!

First of all, I need to admit defeat in one area. Back in May, I declared Sean Kingston‘s “Beautiful Girls” as the song of the summer. I really thought I was on to something, but people were sick of that song about a week after that post. I hate to do it, but I really think “The Way I Are” took that title. Was there any other song that got more airplay over the past 3 months? Timbo was everywhere this summer, but this song was part of every long music stretch on Top 40 radio. They even tried to switch things up halfway through the summer by replacing the regular album version with the hook-laden radio edit. The whole massive repeat of the hook was done for the extended version, but why anyone thought you could just cut the song there and omit Timbo’s rap is beyond me. It’s not like it had to be cut for content. Either way, this song is still riding high on the charts.

Now, Marcus goes on to call Rihanna’s “Umbrella” the song of the year. I will say it was the most remixed/covered song of the year, but I don’t think I’m willing to give it his distinction just yet.

He also says that there was no album of the year. His criteria include the fact that it has to be enjoyable from beginning to end. I beg to differ on that. I still say that Fall-Out Boy’s Infinity on High is the sleeper hit of the year. It has had its singles, and its questionable videos (a chimpanzee? Uganda? Really?), but there is not a bad track on that album. Especially, I love that they come up with the BEST names for songs. My personal favorite at the moment is “It’s Hard to Say ‘I Do’ When I Don’t” (bonus track on the Wal-Mart version). Close runner up: G.I.N.A.S.F.S. (Gay Is Not A Synonym For Shitty)” (bonus track on international version).

Daughtry – I really hated this guy and all he stood for. I wanted to write him off as “the bald Bo Bice”, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love “Over You”. Like “Rockstar”, it’s got such a singable chorus, and I want to think it’s the male answer to “Before He Cheats”.

Nickelback – “Rockstar” is a funny song to me. Moreso, the video to Rockstar is funny to me. You see, they’ve got cameos by a whole bunch of people who, I’m sure, hate Nickelback. I wonder if these people were even told that they would be lipsynching to a Nickelback video. I can write some of them off, like Gretzky & Taryn Manning, but Kid Rock? Gene Simmons? Nelly Furtado? Really? It’s a fun song, which I’m sure is ALL THE RAGE in your neighborhood redneck karaoke bar. It’s officially the White “The Way I Are” for the year.

BSB vs. Britney – A face-off between Britney & Backstreet. Man, that takes me back. It’s also pretty f’ed up on the part of Jive. It sucks because Brit’s album was leaked, so they had to get whatever sales they possibly could. In the meantime, they’ve been flying Backstreet around the world since May just trying to drum up international support for their release. They’d really dumped too much money into the BSB Machine to move their release date. I didn’t get Britney’s album because it’s not a “destination album” to me. I can always download it, or buy it from a used store in 3 months. Hell, I just bought her last CD about 2 months ago for $4, and it was well-worth it. It’s not a bad album, but it’s totally a “fuckin’ album” Not “love-makin'”, but FUCKING. It’s what you put on when your drunk sorority girlfriend wants to “do it like in that movie with that guy”.

Anyway, I did get Unbreakable by BSB. It’s a longstanding tradition that I buy all BSB albums on release day. Sad, I know. I’m really getting sick of their whole “we’re still here” gimmick with the album titles. First, was Black & Blue, which signified all they’d been through from their label and the press. Then, there was their last album, Never Gone, which made some people wish they would go somewhere. It was too soft-rock for their own good. Now, they come back with Unbreakable. We get it, guys. While it might pertain to the fact that they’re still around even though Kevin left the group, let’s be honest: vocally, he never contributed much to the group. He’s the bass, but they never sing 5-part harmony, so it didn’t matter. Plus, none of his singles were ever released on the American versions of their albums.

Sadly, Unbreakable is just more of the Never Gone stuff. I don’t know what’s wrong with songwriters, but it’s like they’ve run out of lyrics. At the beginning of the year, Nick Lachey gave us “What’s Left of Me”, with the hook, “I don’t wanna waste another day.” BSB’s lead single, “Inconsolable”, gives us the hook, “I don’t wanna waste another day.” But, the VERY NEXT SONG on the album (“Something That I Already Know”) gives us the hook, “I don’t wanna waste another minute.” Really? Are you kidding me? You mean to tell me that no one even considered moving that track to later on the disc?!

J. Holiday – I think R&B might be on an upswing, as Omarion’s “Ice Box” was the hotness, but J. Holiday had to come along and give us a good old-fashioned I’m-gonna-do-you-dirty-but-still-act-like-we’re-just-makin’-love song. “Bed” is just smooth. I really don’t want J to be a one-hit wonder, especially being a DC boy. This isn’t his debut, but it’s definitely gonna be the song that puts him on the map. This has LSG written all over it, and it’s refreshing to here after we’ve been through the whole “Confessions/Trapped in the Closet” phase of R&B, of “I’m sorry I cheated on you, but I’ve still somehow managed to come out ‘the good guy’.”

Soulja Boy – What can I say? “Crank Dat” is the Seinfeld of Hip-Hop: A song about nothing. And that’s just want ignorant folks want, to not have to think about their music. You can’t be thinking about deep lyrics when you’re trying to get the dance right. You worry about the words after the dance is down. That’s what works for Britney. Who’da thunk a song about just busting on a woman would be such a hit? Oh right, we already knew because it worked so well for Lil John on “Get Low”. The kids love their moneyshots!

Beyonce – “Get Me Bodied”: Wow, Beyonce made a song that I like. I won’t lie; I’ve liked other stuff, but honestly, her solo stuff has left me cold. I was way more into Destiny’s Child than The ‘Yonce. Yes, there are subtle differences in the song choices of the two. Anyway, “Get Me Bodied” makes you move. You can’t fight it. And it works everywhere. Close your eyes and it’s that high school dance, that birthday party, or that family reunion (you know the kind, where black folks rent out the local community center and hook up an old Aiwa stereo as the music choice). The best way to experience this is the extended version, which also doubles as a commercial for her clothing line, House of Dereon”. I didn’t even know the song was still going. i’m sitting there thinking, wow that was a smooth transition. Little did I know she’d come roaring back, telling me to shake my derrier in the House of Dereon. It makes you want to get up in church and testify. it’s got such a “Pick a Bale O’ Cotton” vibe to it near the end.

Alicia Keys – “No One”: This song is just on the verge of hotness. What it needs is an uptempo remix. It’s almost there. I’m feeling the laid-back old school groove, but I can just hear the potential in this song. The funny thing about Alicia is that her gimmick was “the black piano girl”, but in recent years, though, she’s moved more from Vanessa Carlton to pre-crack Whitney. She doesn’t have the vocal range, but the piano is taking a backseat in her songs of late. She was killing those keys in “Fallin'”, while the background of No One is pretty much comprised of practice scales. I still think the song is hot, but it could be hotter.

Colbie Caillat – “Bubbly”: I really didn’t want to like this song. I give her the same credit I give Tila Tequila & OneRepublic, in realizing that it takes a lot of work to build a true fanbase through Myspace. She did it and got her album out. She could either go the Sheryl Crow route or the early Nelly Furtado route (ya know, before she started hanging out with Black guys, i.e. “Like A Bird”). If she can stay pure, we might have something here. I really don’t want her to be a one-hit wonder, but I’d prefer that than having any chance of hearing the Bubbly remix, feat. T-Pain, Akon, Timbaland & JT.

Thriller – A Halloween mainstay, I heard this song about 3 times yesterday, and it’s STILL HOT. I swear on Great Odin’s Beard, this song never gets old. Sure, I could do without the campy Vincent Price part at the end, but the song MAKES you move. And everybody wants to learn that dance. Before I die, I want to be part of a large-scale, choreographed dance. I don’t know if I have to go on Broadway, or just plan a party of equally geek-minded people. But dammit, I’m gonna learn that dance.

I have a song, which many refer to as “The Biebl” that is my therapy. It’s a version of “Ave Maria”, arranged by a composer by the name of Franz Biebl. It was given as a gift to the Cornell Glee Club back in the 70s while they were on tour. Many people laugh at the notion, but I truly believe that it is the most beautiful piece of music ever. It’s my therapy. If I hit rock bottom, that song brings me back. You don’t have to know Latin, you don’t need to really believe the “message”. All you need to do is let go to the music. To me, Thriller is the Pop Biebl. You hear that, and you refuse to believe that Michael ever touched those kids. You refuse to believe that he’s ever gonna go crazy and marry Elvis’s daughter, resulting in a half-nekkid video. You forget that he’s going to blow all his money and create a zoo/amusement park at his house. All you know is you need to dance, because you’re listening to the rockin’est song of the past 25 years. Yeah, I said it. The entire album was unstoppable, but this song, and it’s incredible/incredibly expensive video were a driving force in making it the greatest selling album of all time.

28th Oct2007

Brody Jenner, Sunday Best, New York Times, and Timbaland/OneRepublic Connection

by Will

“If you can’t sell pussy, you can’t sell anything.”

I swear, I’ve got stories, but they take so friggin’ long to write up, plus I have to process them and break them down to the bare essentials. After all, that San Diego recap is so overdue it’s embarrassing. Anyway, it’s still coming, but here’s another random-things-on-my-mind post.

– I swear, Brody Jenner is determined to be a reality star if it kills him. I don’t think people realize how many times he’s been around the reality-block. First off, he milked his stepfather’s, music producer David Foster, fame when he starred in the short-lived Fox reality show, The Princes of Malibu. Pretty much, the show was about how Brody and his brother were a bunch of layabouts, and Foster wanted them to get jobs. It was basically the male equivalent of The Simple Life. That got canceled after no more than 3 episodes. Then, he popped up as LC’s love interest du jour on The Hills. While he’s still got that gig going, he’s also in his stepsisters’ show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians. After all, his biological dad married their golddigger mom. I swear, I wouldn’t be surprised if his next stop is Big Brother.

-Speaking of MTV stuff, I love how they manage to answer questions that I never knew I had, such as : “What’s it like being the hottest girl at fat camp?” And while answering said question, I’m glad they produced one of the most twisted lines I’ve ever heard: “I will love you more than any boy ever could.” If you can’t understand what’s sad about that statement, then you’re just the demographic their aiming for.

-As much as I love a trashy dating show, I couldn’t give a shit about Tila Tequila. I give her credit for actively lobbying to be “friended” by everyone in the world, but she looks like the result of some crazy Roswell experiment. It’s like some scientists said, “We’re gonna use alien DNA to create a chick with a rockin’ body”, yet they weren’t able to fully extract all of the alien facial characteristics. Seriously, she’s like an anime character with fetal alcohol syndrome.

-I was reading the special college supplement of the New York Times, and I learned about a little place called Occidental College in LA. Do you know that they have some sort of unspoken tradition of going barefoot? Not just around dorms and whatnot, but *everywhere*! Cafeterias, gyms, classrooms, bathrooms! Isn’t that some sort of OSHA violation? I wonder if they’ll see a crackdown following that article. Haha, Occidental! You’ve just been Xposed!

-Can I just say that I hate how pretentious The New York Times is? I hate how they refer to “Mr. So-and-So”. For example, if they wrote an article about me, they’d phrase it as, “Mr. West was found, shivering in a mysterious puddle and clutching a firearm. The firearm was designed by SoHo Jeweler Sol Rubestein.” The whole “Mr” article comes off as condescending, while they always qualify the worst situation with some sort of high society tag, as if to say, “See, there’s some merit to our publishing this, as it pertains, in some way, to the highest of social circles.”

-Man, Britney and Backstreet Boys have albums dropping on the same day. It’s like 1999 all over again!

-Anybody seen Gotti’s Way? The saddest part about that show is that it seems like Irv is the last one to know the game is over. If you pay close enough attention to everyone else on the show, it likes they’ve pretty much given up on him, or they humor him to make him think he’s still got some magic left in him. From his wife to his kids to Ja Rule, it’s like they nod and smile ’cause they know he’ll lose his shit if he ever just sits and realizes the truth. Yet and still, he’s running around, spouting off about his dreams and how he’s gonna take over the music industry.Sorry, Irv, but the market’s changed. I really doubt people are clamoring for that next Ja Rule album, unless it’s got an Akon cameo on it. If he can develop some sort of substance abuse problem, we may have the next Breaking Bonaduce on our hands. VH-1: It’s like middle class NASCAR.

-I’m really digging Sunday Best on BET right now. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s basically the gospel equivalent of American Idol. The catch, however, is that it’s not all about your vocals. Sure, you need to be able to sing, but you also have to be able to take “The Message” back out into the community, and live your life in a manner that proves that you’re “Sunday’s Best”. Wow, that is some muthafuckin’ pressure! With American Idol, you better believe that TMZ and US weekly are gonna drag your shit out into the open. That said, the AI producers really just hope you can keep your shit together long enough to keep the Coke/Ford Focus endorsement deal, and to finish off the national tour. Once that’s over, and you’re left doing auto shows and county fairs, they really don’t care how many times you slept with Paula or stripped to feed your baby. Sunday Best expects you to carry on the tradition long after the competition is over. I’m sorry, Bebe Winans. That’s just too much to ask. Hell, Kirk Franklin’s the host, and he’s addicted to porn! Don’t ya think you’re being a little hypocritical there, Brother Kirk? Anyway, I hope a chick wins, ’cause I can’t wait for her fall from grace following the inevitable King/XXL Magazine photo spreads.

-Yeah, I get that he’s helping to boost OneRepublic to stardom, but I really don’t get why Timbaland is credited as the artist on “Apologize”. That’s a OneRepublic song that he remixed and put on his album, but it is not his song. In a lot of ways, the regular version is actually better than his. All of this “Timbaland, feat. One Republic” shit is starting to bother me. It’s like a song can’t come out this year without having Timbaland’s fingerprints all over it. OneRepublic doesn’t seem to be saying anything about it, but that’s ’cause they know what’s good for them…

OK, I think that does it for now. Sometimes, you just gotta vent!

22nd Aug2007

Two Coreys, Umbrella Remixes, Mission: Man Band, Drake & Josh

by Will

“Never underestimate the healing power of a blonde, Miss Potts.”

I’m still not feeling the San Diego recap, as work’s kinda kicking my ass right now. So, here’s a fill-in post about a few random things on my mind lately:

-Why did no one tell me The Two Coreys had started? In some ways, it’s better than I thought it would be. In others, it’s not as good as I thought it would be. I still find it hilarious that Haim doesn’t have a driver’s license. That’s like learning Cusack never owned a boombox.

-I just know that, somewhere, Rihanna’s saying, “‘Pon de replay! Stop fucking wit ma song!” Right now, there are more versions of “Umbrella” than stars on the flag. For starters, she had no clue there was gonna be a Jay-Z intro. She says that the first time she heard his contribution was the first time that she heard the finished song, and it took her by suprise. Then, Scott Simon covered it.Then, the Chris Brown “Cinderella Remix” popped up. Then, Marie Digby covered it, as heard on The Hills. Then, Mandy Moore covered it, with it sounding exactly like Marie’s version.

-Speaking of The Hills, Spencer’s proposal to Heidi was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen on TV, scripted or reality. That dude is such a douchebag. I can’t even stand looking at him. If there’s any doubt as to the scripted nature of that show, rewatch the season premiere, and pay attention to Heidi’s reaction. That, my friends, was scripted.

-The Celebrity Roast for Flavor Flav was pretty awful. The Shatner one was good, as was the one for Pamela. Flav, not so much. The funniest part was when Greg Giraldo told Flav that he looked like a skeleton wrapped in electrical tape. Maybe it’ll be better when they show it uncensored in The Secret Stash.

-Here’s a sentence I never thought I’d write: Has anybody seen the Chris Brown video where he turns into a vampire and dances with those little boys outside of the Power Rangers’ old Command Center?

-I need to start actually calling people, and stop all this text bullshit. You know it’s gone too far when Verizon texts you to tell you that you’ve gone over your texts…The worst part about texting is that there’s no “goodbye”. You can be flirting along, and then….nothing. It’s like the phone commercials where the calls drop. “Did I say something wrong? Was that too far?” Nothing. And then, 2 weeks later, you get another text like nothing happened. I can’t live like this anymore!

-No, Timbaland, I can’t handle you the way you are, mainly because you keep giving it to me every 20 minutes. I’m really tired of this summer’s radio being dominated by the “Timbers”, ‘land and ‘lake.

-They’re really making a Flavor of Love 3? Come the fuck on…

-I think Denzel has finally made a movie that I’d want to see. Go watch the trailer for American Gangster!

-Jeff Timmons is getting on my last nerve on Mission: Man Band. He’s “pulling an Ikaika” (10 points to anyone who understands that reference) with the whole “I don’t want to be here” routine. Dude, nobody begged you. As far as 98 Degrees rankings go, you were #3, behind both Lacheys, but before the old, weird, ugly bass. Since that group folded, you’ve done one infomercial and your wife left you. When they introduced you on Man Band, you lived with your parents. Cut the shit and start singing. You need this, bitch.

-The NBC special on the Beckhams just reignited my fire for Victoria. Never cared much for David, as he lacks personality. Posh, though, was always my #2 Spice. She’s still #2, but it’s because she’s clawed her way back up the ladder. And that feat, to put it in her terms, is simply may-juh!

-I have an almost unhealthy obsession with Drake & Josh right now. They’re funny guys, it’s scary how much weight Josh lost over the course of the show, plus their sister is played by the little bitchy girl from School of Rock. I forgot how good Nickelodeon shows could be…

-Anybody seen Topanga’s weight loss commercial? Damn, I’d like to get me some of those pills!

-If somebody calls you first thing in the morning, offering free roses and whatnot, don’t fall for it. In the words of Admiral Ackbar, “It’s a trap!” It’s a radio station, and your girl already knows you’re cheating on her. Just hang up and handle your shit off the air. That said, “War of the Roses”, on Hot 99.5 (and various other stations across the country), is my favorite form of morning entertainment. I do think, however, it’s the kind of thing that gets morning DJ’s sent to Hell. Just sayin’…

-TV Land’s Back to the Grind is the best idea in ages. If you haven’t seen it, they take an actor from an old TV show, and they make him perform the job of his character to see if he could really pull it off. For example, Night Court‘s Harry Anderson actually had to be a judge for a day, and WKRP‘s Loni Anderson actally had to be a receptionist for a day. Priceless.

-Anne Hathaway, if you’re reading this, could you please try to do more movies set in the present? I get it, you like period pieces, but you’re gonna get typecast. So far, you’re good at playing princesses, frumps, and frumpy princesses. And there’s that straight-to-dvd flick where you showed your tits. Otherwise, I’m gonna need to see some diversity out of your roles, honey. After all, this is your job we’re talking about!

15th Jun2007

Last Call: Brewed In The Attic, Lil Mama & Avril Lavigne, Where’s Christopher Cross?

by Will

I wake up, it’s a bad dream
No one on my side
I was fighting
But I just feel too tired
To be fighting
Guess I’m not the fighting kind”

I tell ya, nothing brighten’s up your morning like hearing the squarest bunch of guys around singing T.I.’s “What You Know (About That)”! In-freaking-credible! Yes, folks. It’s gonna be a music post!

So, LC sent me Brewed in the Attic, which is their latest CD. Now, I feel I need to preface this because it’s going to come off a little backhanded: this CD is awesome if you’re into nouveau, mixed a cappella. I’m coming to the realization that I like bad a cappella. The kind that’s not really processed, and you might hear the soloist crack a note every now and then. I realize this is equivalent to a guy admitting that he likes ugly women, but I like what I like.

Don’t get me wrong, this CD blows the doors off anything I ever had a hand in recording, and I was really impressed by most of the tracks. First off, I’m jealous of Jamie & Nishant, as they got to sing 2 songs that I’d kill a hobo to record (Get Ready & A Change is Gonna Come, respectively). This CD solidified the fact that Nishant is one of the top 5 soloists in LC history (no, don’t ask me the other 4, and no, I don’t consider myself one of them).

And John Cape *killed* Careless Whisper. I didn’t know he had it in him, as it’s such a well done track. I’d be such an asshole in this group, ’cause I’d be auditioning for ever solo thrown out there. I really love their active rep. Oh yeah, they were the square guyssinging What You Know (About That), which caps off the album. For reals. And it was awesome. Part of me thinks they got the idea from Divisi doing Yeah!, but I don’t care. Amazing arrangement!

So, what’s my problem? I like my recorded a cappella pure. My mom once asked me, “What’s the point of a cappella? So, they don’t have instruments? Why not go and get some instruments?” It sounded delightfully ignorant at the time (I’m such a snob sometimes), but now I see where she was coming from. Back in the day, part of the charm was that you could harmonize and substitute for the instruments. Your mouth wasn’t a guitar, but you were “ooh-ing” and “bah-ing” in lieu of an instrument. In essence, a cappella was the art of vocal improvisation, in a way.

I like my a cappella to sound like the same thing I’d hear in concert. As far as mixed cd’s go, I’ve always thought they’d be a cool thing to have around A) if you had the funds available and b) you just wanted to see how you might sound in that format; purely for shits and giggles. I don’t like my a cappella to sound like Peter Cetera (listen to Glory of Love or Hard to Say I’m Sorry to understand that…). The way the “industry” is going, though, all collegiate a cappella is heading down this road, which somewhat saddens me. I was reading a review of a Hangovers disc the other day, and they said something like, “This would have been BOCA quality 4 yrs ago.” What has changed? Talent hasn’t changed. The essence of music hasn’t changed. But the production expectations have changed. It’s a new ballgame out there, and while these groups are doing awesome, awesome things, I think my number was up in a cappella at just the right time. Anyway, enough about a cappella…

Amy Winehouse’s album is even better than people say it is. It’s such a creative concept; it’s like someone asked, “I wonder what a Supremes album with a parental advisory label would sound like.” Same vibe (which I’ve been begging someone to bring back for yrs now!) and same general song length. It’s like a Motown revival! Sure, Rehab is great and gets a lot of spin, but you really need to check out Back in Black and Love is a Losing Game. So true, Amy…In any case, I hope she doesn’t get boxed into a corner. Now, she’s “broody, soulful Motown chick”, but the novelty of that might wear off. Remember, Fiona Apple was the brooding, jazz standard chick. The inevitable “reinvention” album is right around the corner. And then, Amy’ll end up fighting with her 80 yr-old label head over what’s considered “cool” in the music game…

While I felt it was too early to crown the “Song of Summer 2007”, I know that the distinction HAS to go to Sean Kingston’s “Beautiful Girls”. It’s so cute and catchy, and you’re going to fucking hate it by Labor Day. Like I posted on Marcus’s blog, “Suicidal, Suicidal, Suicidal” is going to be the white kids’ new “Hey, it must be the money!”

Snippets:
Why did Rihanna sample Blue Monday? It doesn’t even fit that song!

Maroon 5’s Makes Me Wonder is pure hotness. The instrumental, alone, is disco sex, but the lyrics just add the spice as they’re so bitter. If you go back and listen to Songs About Jane, you’ll see that most of their songs are pretty post-relationship and bitter. With the exception of She Will Be Loved, Adam was telling some chick that he was fucking through with her. Apparently, that has carried over to the new album.

U+Ur Hand has grown on me. Still kind of hate the message, but I get where she’s coming from.

New BSB single leaked. Happily Never After. It’s awful. I don’t even know why they’re still trying. And I was their biggest fan. This current shit is too lame for Soft Rock Adult Contemporary. They’ve just lost their…thing.

The Li’l Mama & Avril Lavigne Girlfriend remix is the shit. It makes me wanna break into a high school and bang on lockers, as Toni Basil drones on and on about that Mickey fucker…

Where is Christopher Cross right this very minute? There is a hole in Adult Contemporary that could easily be filled by an amazing Christopher Cross comeback. The man gave us Arthur’s Theme, The Best That You Can Do, and Sailing. There isn’t an elevator out there that hasn’t played a Muzak version of his stuff. I really think he’s got a few more hits in him for that Delilah demographic.

All for now. Back later with a 21 Day Wedding Party update…

08th Jan2007

High School Musical Is Gonna Save Pop Music

by Will

“My wife’s vajeen hangs loose like sleeve of wizard.”

Mark my words: In one year, pop will be back in full force. No, I don’t mean that dreck that’s currently on Top 40 stations. I mean pure, unadulterated, don’t-worry-about-the-lyrics, bubblegum pop. Hell, we might even get a few boybands out of it.

And you know who’s gonna be responsible for it? The Disney Channel. More specifically, “High School Musical”.

Now, I haven’t had the pleasure of watching this movie, but I hear it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Apparently, if you pause at 00:03:16, you can even see Jesus in the background! No, that’s a lie, but you’d think it were true considering all the press this movie gets.

For a movie that has only been in existence for a year, it has been released on DVD 3 different times! No, not three different release dates; there are 3 different versions of this thing in stores, and they all sell like Disney’s going out of style. 1.2 million copies were sold of the first version, within 6 days of its release! The soundtrack has gone TRIPLE PLATINUM! That’s 3 million copies of a soundtrack to a made-for-TV movie! A stage show, complete with original cast, has been touring the country for months!

While I haven’t seen the movie, I HAVE seen enough talk show appearances, Disney 365 specials, and random commercial break music videos to know what’s going on. The songs these kids are singing are pretty much the same thing that sold gangbusters back in ’99. Add to that the fact that they’re being sung by beautiful White kids and Halfies, and you’ve got the recipe for pop success.

You may laugh at me now, but in a year, you’re going to be hearing nothing but Corbin Bleu on the radio. Hell, I thought that was a sandwich at Wendy’s, but High School Musical has taught me the error of my ways. As we’ve learned before, all it takes is one to open the door. Backstreet Boys were so influential that every White kid with 4 more guy friends put together a boyband. ESPECIALLY if they lived within driving distance of Orlando.

So, a year from now, when you’re watching MTV and thinking to yourself, “Wow, Justin Guarini got younger and cuter”, just remember that Will brought it to ya first!

23rd Feb2005

A Frank Sinatra Tribute Album? Really, Westlife?!

by Will

Don’t you hate when your favorite musical act/group jumps the shark?

My favorite boyband in the entire world is UK group, Westlife. I LOVE them.

But their albums started sucking. On their last album, they had the audacity to cover Barry Manilow’s “Mandy”. Now, it seems like they have a running bet to see how much they can suck and still retain their fans.

Well, now I see that they’ve released, “Allow Us To Be Frank”, which is nothing but a Frank Sinatra cover album….by a boyband…from Ireland….

Old Blue Eyes is spinning in his grave….and calling Sammy some kind of “Coon” or something, while Dean and Joey just laugh and laugh…

14th Dec2004

My Issues With Alvin and the Chipmunks

by Will

“I dunno…maybe it’s a bowling alley!”

So, I wrote about this some time ago, but I think it’s time to revisit the topic: The Chipmunks.

Now, with this holiday season, The Chipmunk Song is a classic. But I find that, the older I get, the more disturbed I find the whole “Chipmunk Phenomenon”.

In the Chipmunk Universe, how could the world’s little girl population be so enthralled by singing 4-ft. chipmunks?!!! It’s sick! It’s like asking, “What if Justin Timberlake & the rest of ‘NSYNC were chipmunks?” Just think about it. Do you know what some chicks WANT TO DO TO THOSE GUYS?!!! It boggles the mind.

Plus, why was Dave always yelling at Alvin? That’s verbal abuse. It’s not like he HAD to take care of ’em. He didn’t get some Chipmunk whore knocked up or anything. He took it upon himself, but it’s like he always regretted it afterwards by the way he’d yell at Alvin. Frankly, i think he was just jealous that Alvin probably got more ‘tang than he did.

With all the yelling, you ever think Alvin just wanted to kill Dave in his sleep? He’d TOTALLY get away with it. Who’d blame a chipmunk? Then again, the prosecutor’s daughter would probably have a mad-on for the chipmunks, and he’d let Alvin fry just for that…Now, would they send a chipmunk to juvie, or would they just put him to sleep right then and there? Imagine the fall from grace! And you think the Michael Jackson trial is scandalous…

Plus, what was the deal with the Chipettes? I always kind of thought they were figments of that old broad’s imagination. She WAS kind of…”off”. Plus, let’s think about this: One trio of singing chipmunks? OK, I’ll let it slide. A whole lot of crazy shit can happen when you dump chemicals in the wrong parts of the forest. But TWO trios of singing chipmunks?!!! I smell a cloning cover-up!

Oh man….I really need to start getting more sleep.

Have a great day, everyone! If you see a chipmunk, don’t let it sing to you; that’s how they lure ya into their trap!

10th Oct2004

In 5 Years, I’ll Bet Nobody Knows Who Kevin Lyttle Is…

by Will

Why are my friends associated with such D-list celebrities? You know, there’s someone out there saying, “Oh yeah, Cameron Diaz is my best friend” or “Britney and I used to take baths together.” But me and my friends? No dice. We get saddled with the chance encounters with the likes of old haggard Penthouse Pets and guys who almost made it on reality shows…

So, where’s this going? Well, about 2 weeks ago, Natalie came into town. She wanted to know if I was up for a supply run to Target. Seeing as how Target is the next best thing to Walmart, I happily obliged.

We’re pulling into the parking lot when her phone rings. “Kevin?” she asked. Then suddenly, “Oh my God! It’s Kevin Lyttle!” Yes, folks. THE Kevin Lyttle. The young man who wants you to kiss and caress him. THAT guy.

You see, she met him a few months back at Platinum as his star was beginning to rise. He got her number, and apparently he calls her from time to time. I knew about it when it first happened, and I kinda thought it was hilarious. This one-hit wonder is actually calling back some chick he booked in a club. Aren’t THEY supposed to be calling HIM? That’s priceless.

But now…I dunno how I feel about Kevin Lyttle callin’ my girl! No, she’s not my girl, and I’m over all that, but it’s the principle, ya know? I mean, it’s fucking Kevin Lyttle. The boy is so anti-cute that his album cover is him looking down, with a hat covering his face. You know the PR boys were out of ideas when they OK’d that clusterfuck of a move.

Plus, I think what gets to me is he might have a shot. Anybody’s who’s been reading this site for the past summer knows ALL about my trials and tribulations, but I swear, if he somehow gets her to kiss and caress him, i’m gonna shit a brick. I know she’s better than that, but he IS a celebrity, even if he ranks below select members of O-Town. Some people are attracted to that sort of thing…

So, he’s on the phone, and he’s just shooting the shit. In the meantime, I’m like “I wanna talk to Kevin! Let me say ‘hi’.”And she’s all like “shh!”. He was trying to find out where she was. Hey Kevin, take note: I know you’re new to this whole fame thing, but booty calls typically don’t take place at 4 PM on a Sunday evening! Besides, we had some Target-ing to do. So, after he found out she wasn’t in NYC, which is where he was, he eventually got off the phone.

I was like, “Why didn’t you let me talk to him?” She goes, “No one’s supposed to know I have his number.” I shot back, “What? Who the fuck’s gonna stalk Kevin Lyttle? Why’s this such a big secret? Nobody cares!”

She kinda changed the subject, but I got out, “I can’t wait to blog about this!” So, there it is. Tune in for when I discuss my friend Syd, and the fact that she’s hanging out with “The Famous Jett Jackson” of Disney Channel fame…

07th Sep2004

My Love For VH-1 and I Wonder Where Ryan Starr’s Gonna Be In 5 Years

by Will

I am LOVING “The Surreal Life” right now. Even though the show is known for being crap, this is the best season YET.

But before we get to that, let me just say that VH-1 was firing on all cylinders tonight. First off, I was PSYCHED for “Bands Reunited” starring New Kids on the Block. I was SHOCKED that Joey McIntyre was the first nail in the coffin. I thought for sure they’d get back together. I mean, c’mon, Jordan’s the lynchpin, which is why they went after him first. Without Jordan would’ve been like having Nsync w/o Justin or BSB w/o Nick. The Knight Bros agreed, but everyone else refused. Man, that really threw me for a loop.

Then, Jordan, still loving the limelight, turned up on “The Surreal Life”. Man, I am loving Flava Flav; he is cracking me up! And when he slapped Red Sonja…that was great! What is Brigitte Nielsen’s problem, anyway? She really hasn’t done jack in yrs, but she still acts like she’s important. Sorry, sweetie…

And I wonder if they’re gonna bring up the fact that Dave Coulier was the inspiration for every bitter track on Alanis’s first album. That’s a big deal, and it’s a lot more important than asking him about the Olsen twins (which Flav did the minute he met Dave, pissing him off). It’s also hilarious that Flav has no idea who anyone is in the house. He was too high back then to remember these people when they were famous.

Jordan started drama by blocking off his room so no one could bother him. They all got pissed, but I kinda understand…after all, he IS currently the most successful person in the house. Man, that’s sad when you think about it….

Ryan Starr is REALLY disappointing me. The sexy rock vixen from American Idol is really just a sheep in wolf’s clothing. She couldn’t deal when the strippers came out, and she’s really just a hot prude…

And Charo….what can i say about that woman? Coochie-coochie, indeed! I don’t care how old she is, she’s still got it. And she holds the record for most appearances on “Love Boat” (21, btw). I would still show her something “exciting and new”! Well, can’t wait for next week…

10th Jul2004

1 Year Bloggin’ and Why I Chose The Name For The Site

by Will

HAPPY BLOG BIRTHDAY!!!!

Not only does today commemorate my one year anniversary of blogging, but this is also my 175th post! Boy, do I love a good milestone!

Wow, one whole year! A year ago, I was basically married, bitter @ the world, and living in Ithaca. Today, I’m completely divorced, bitter @ the world, and living in MD. “The more things change, the more they stay the same”. For the people no longer with us, I guess you can say they helped to “usher” in this new era…

So, I guess you’re saying, “Williambrucewest.com has only been around since April.” Yes, you’re right, but a handful of you know that, prior to April, I posted to a site known as “The World According to A Russian Exchange Student”. Those people have commented, “Will, even though you were an exchange student to Russia, you weren’t Russian, so the title’s incorrect.” Well, to clarify, originally, I was sort of ashamed of some of the stuff I was posting. Initially, I wanted to sort of hide behind a pseudonym, so I had planned to post under the guise of the exchange student who came to live with me.

You see, in my opinion, there’s nothing cuter than a foreigner who doesn’t have a grasp on America and the English language. Yes, that may sound exploitative, but I love when someone learning English will ask, “How do you say…?” While my exchange student stayed with us, he had a lot of valuable insight on the US, while at the same time he said things that were just too funny for words. In the early days of blogging, whenever I’d read an off-the wall news article, I’d wonder, “What would Sergei have to say about this?”. Well, as interesting an idea as that was, you can only walk in another man’s shoes for so long, and I kind of abandoned the “human interest” aspect of blogging. Instead, it was Punky Brewster this and Nsync that. Honestly, I’d rather stay away from the whole “Man, the world/America is so f-ed up” ’cause that’s what James & Jenn are for. They’re in the links, so check ’em out. At the same time, there’s just not enough forums for pop culture, so by-gummit, I’m here to stay.

We’re just getting started, and I’m only getting crazier, so I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride so far, and get ready for more years to come. I still don’t have a clue as to who’s reading this thing, but I do know about 5 of you have been here since the beginning, and I’d just like ya to know it means a lot to me, you mysterious masked marvels. Here’s to next year, and hopefully, post #500!